Left: William circa, 1991
Right: Age Progressed to age 34
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: November 9, 1991
Missing From: McKees Rocks, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
Classification: Non-Family Abduction
Date Of Birth: April 25, 1983
Age: 8 years old
Height and Weight: 4’1″ and 50 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: White Male, Sandy hair, Blue eyes, William has gaps in between his teeth and his nickname is “Willie”
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A gray hooded sweatshirt/jacket, gray pants, and black sneakers
NCMEC Number: 761273
Details of Disappearance
William disappeared from McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania on November 9th 1991. He was last seen at 4:00 pm by his mother, Alice Stubenrauch, as he left his home. Witnesses saw him a short time later as he walked to Chartiers Creek near the Ohio River with his fishing gear in hand.
Williams fishing gear was later discovered along the banks of the creek behind the Eat N’ Park Restaurant. The gear was undisturbed and there appeared to be no signs of a struggle at the scene. The location is also 100 yards away from the homeless persons’ camp.
William was reported missing several hours after he disappeared. His mother was playing bingo at the time of his disappearance and didn’t realize he was missing until several hours after the fact. She initially agreed to a polygraph exam but moved away from the area before the test could take place. She was reportedly uncooperative during the initial stages of the investigation.￼
She has not been named as a suspect in her sons disappearance. There were various and conflicting reports as to Williams whereabouts during that afternoon. Some witnesses saw him at the McKees Rocks Plaza and another witness saw him speaking with a “scruffy” looking man in a nearby store.
Another witness came forward and claimed that William was abducted by an “unkempt man” that afternoon. The witness allegedly observed William being pulled into a burnt orange painted Nova by this man. The car and the man have never been located.
Investigators do not believe William died in an accident or drowned since his body was never found, the area he vanished from was searched immensely with no trace of him being found. They believe he was abducted and possibly murdered.
They’ve looked at the possibility that a homeless man named Joseph Cornelius was involved in Williams possible abduction. In September of 2000, Cornelius brutally murdered a boy named Scott Drake and mitigated his remains before dumping his body a few miles away from his home in a grassy lot. His body was found on September 25th 2000.
Investigators have noted that Cornelius resided in McKees Rocks when William vanished and he lived with Helen Arlott at the time. Helen was a close friend of Williams mother. Alice has told police that she doesn’t believe either of them actually knew William. Arlott maintained that Alice was a good mother in the search for her son.
Cornelius is also suspected in the blinding and molestation of a boy in Oklahoma since he was in the state and area at the time of the crime. He has denied involvement in Williams case and the other case. It should be noted that Williams fishing equipment was found near the homeless shelter that Cornelius was known to at the time. He died in prison in 2018.
Williams disappearance remains unsolved and is classified as a non family abduction.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
McKees Rocks Police Department 412-331-2300